Ghislaine Maxwell appears via video link during her arraignment hearing where she was denied bail for her role aiding Jeffrey Epstein to recruit and eventually abuse of minor girls, in Manhattan Federal Court, in New York, July 14, 2020 in this courtroom sketch.
Jane Rosenberg | Reuters
Federal prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to reject a new bail request by Ghislaine Maxwell, saying there are no conditions that can ensure that the British socialite will not flee to avoid trial for allegedly abetting Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of children.
“The defendant poses an extreme flight risk,” prosecutors wrote in a Manhattan federal court filing submitted days after Maxwell proposed being freed from a Brooklyn federal jail on $28.5 million bail.
“The offense conduct outlined in the Indictment remains incredibly serious, the evidence against the defendant remains strong, and the defendant continues to have extensive financial resources and foreign ties, as well as the demonstrated ability to live in hiding for the long term,” prosecutors wrote.
The filing includes a letter that includes a statement from Annie Farmer, a woman who says both Maxwell and Epstein sexually abused her.
Farmer wrote that she did not believe that she or “any of the women [Maxwell] exploited will see justice if she is released on bail.”
“She has lived a life of privilege, abusing her position of power to live beyond the rules. Fleeing the country in order to escape once more would fit with her long history of anti-social behavior,” Farmer wrote.
Maxwell denies committing any crimes.
Judge Alison Nathan rejected Maxwell’s first bid for bail after she was arrested in July on charges that she recruited and groomed several underage girls who later were abused by the late money manager Epstein, a former boyfriend of hers.
Nathan at the time said she represented an extreme flight risk because of her holding citizenship in France and Britain and her significant wealth.
In her new bail request, Maxwell asked to be released on a bail package that would be secured by $22.5 million personal recognizance bond, equivalent to the value of her and her husband’s declared assets, and millions more pledged from seven relatives and close friends.
Maxwell has proposed having armed guards ensure that she stays in a New York City residence and that she be monitored with an electronic device.
“Ms. Maxwell vehemently maintains her innocence and is committed to defending herself,” her lawyers wrote.
“She wants nothing more than to remain in this country to fight the allegations against her, which are based on the uncorroborated testimony of a handful of witnesses about events that took place over 25 years ago.”
Prosecutors in their filing Friday said that Maxwell’s new bail request largely “rehashes” arguments she made in July when her first bail application was rejected.
And prosecutors said her offer to effectively waive extradition from France in the event that she skipped bail was not worth any weight because the French Ministry of Justice has reiterated to prosecutors that the nation does not extradite its citizens for criminal prosecution.
The filing also noted that while Maxwell’s bail motion “now claims that her marriage would keep in her the United States, her motion does not address the plainly inconsistent statements she made to Pretrial Services at the time of her arrest,” when she said she was “‘in the process of divorcing her husband.'”
“Accordingly, the defendant’s foreign ties, wealth, and skill at avoiding detection continue to weigh in favor of detention,” prosecutors wrote.
Epstein, 66, died in August 2019 in a Manhattan jail from what officials have ruled was a suicide by hanging. He had been arrested the prior month on federal child sex-trafficking charges.
Epstein was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, as well as of Britain’s Prince Andrew.
Source by www.cnbc.com